Schfvilkus

Genrealization

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AllMusic Review by

The idea of a bunch of Nashville cats turning their backs on the city's country scene and forming a group dedicated to rich and jazzy retro-soul and brass ideas (with a little dance/trance and Afro-Cuban influence) is enough to perk up a few ears. Choosing a wacky name which means "on pins and needles" in Yiddish hints at the spunky energy and eclectic approach. The bio promises "a bitches brew of high anxiety," and for the most part, the free-for-all jam-style of the band delivers the goods. The fivesome gets off to a slamming start with the thumping, in-your-face funk-brass explosion "Pleather," which features Maxwell Adams' slick saxes blending with two trombones over Christian Grainger's jangly electric guitar. The only drawback is a segment in the middle of the tune where turntable scratches sound a bit like Donald Duck crashed the session. They call the next track "Swat," and the clicking wah-wah intro recalls the famed TV show theme before the tune evolves into a turbocharged brass-electric guitar cruncher, broken up playfully for a brief but sporty muted trumpet interlude. The Middle-Eastern-flavored dance/trance number is club fodder at its best but lasts a way too short two minutes. At the opposite end of the spectrum is the eight-and-a-half-minute "Scuffle for Truffles," which is a solid, grooving showcase for Grainger but never really digs into a real melodic framework. Interesting because the stomping "Harp's Palette" and the loping Afro-Cuban toe-tapper "Sierra Del Yugo" are the epitome of catchy and tight. Certainly part of the band's appeal is their free spiritedness, but the slightly self-indulgent "Rockdweller" (eight and a half minutes of wacko sound experimentation) is superfluous and slightly disconcerting. On the other hand, such a piece will definitely have you on Schfvilkus, which may be just the point.

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